ASIMUD: Remote Sensing Data Assimilation in Modelling of Urban Dynamics

Frank Canters, Kasper Cockx, Tim Van de Voorde

Research Cartography and GIS (CGIS)

2011-2013. STEREO II Programme (Research Programme for Earth Observation), Belgian Science Policy funding


Urban change processes are increasingly affecting the environment. They stress the need for more effective urban management approaches based on the notion of sustainable urban development. The problem analysis, planning and monitoring phases of sustainable urban management policies require reliable and sufficiently detailed information on the urban environment and its dynamics. Geospatial and socio-economic data supplemented with knowledge on dynamic urban processes are incorporated in the land-use change models currently available to planners and policy makers. They enable them to assess the impacts of decisions on the spatial systems that they are to manage. To be usefully applicable to this effect, land-use change models need extensive calibration. Current calibration methods, however, do not take into account uncertainties in the parametrisation of these models and in land-use data used as a reference. This leads to uncertainties in the prediction of future land use, which need to be quantified and reduced.


The ASIMUD project aims to provide a solution to this issue by applying a data assimilation framework to the calibration of land-use change models. The framework will use land-use maps and remote sensing derived land-use data at time steps that they are available in order to optimize the parameters of the land-use change model.

Project website

This project is a consortium project with the following partners: Flemish Institute of Technological Research (VITO), Cartography and GIS (CGIS) research group of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and Physical Geography Research Institute (PGRI) of Utrecht University.